Panorama X Server Pricing

For the past two years all charges for Panorama X Server usage have been waived. Effective November 1, 2022 these charges are no longer waived, and will appear on your monthly statements. (Some of you have already seen statements with these charges – I’m sorry for the tardiness of this announcement but the last week has been pretty hectic.)

To refresh your memory, the rates for database sharing were announced in early 2021 and published in the Panorama X 10.2 Beta FAQ page:

To save you a click, I’ve included a copy of this pricing information below. If you’re in a hurry, the summary is that if you are using Panorama X server you will be seeing higher amounts on your monthly statements, and you may need to keep a closer eye on your balance to make sure that it stays positive.

When Panorama Server is used for database sharing , your Panorama X account will be debited each month based on the number of clients that connected to the server during the previous month. The debit will be two months per user (one for the client and one for the server). For example, if your organization has five users, your account will be debited ten months at the end of each month. If you are purchasing credits in increments of 60 months or more, this means that the cost per user will be $10, so $50/month for the hypothetical 5 user organization, or $100/month for a 10 user organization.

When Panorama Server is used for database web publishing there will also be a monthly charge for Panorama X Server based on the amount of web traffic processed by the server (similar to an electricity or water bill, or similar to Amazon AWS). The server software includes instrumentation to monitor usage levels to determine billing. This will make Panorama X Server an affordable option for organizations of all sizes. (Note: Only aggregate usage pattern information is monitored, no private user or database information is monitored or reported. Specifically, the only information monitored is the number of active users, number of client requests, and amount of data transferred.) The exact formula for calculating the monthly charge for web publishing is based on the number of incoming web requests handled by the server. The first 2,000 requests each month are free. For each additional 4,000 requests, one month will be debited from your account. For example, 10,000 requests would result in two months being debited (equivalent to $10 if you are purchasing 60 months or more at a time).

If your server is used for both database sharing and web publishing then both of the charges described above will apply. Note: Server pricing is subject to change. We don’t expect changes to happen often, and any changes will be announced in advance.

Important: If you are using a server your account balance will decline faster than it has in the past. Because account usage depends on so many variable factors, it’s not possible for Panorama to accurately warn you in advance when your balance is too low. To avoid possible interruptions we recommend that you keep a balance for at least two months of server usage available. For example, if your organization has six sharing users, you would want to replenish your balance when it goes below 24 months.

Grace period: At the moment, there is no grace period. When your account balance goes negative, your server will stop working until a payment is made. I’ve decided that this isn’t acceptable, so a grace period feature is being worked on. This is a bit complicated, but it will be made available as soon as possible. In the meantime, be sure to keep your balance high enough that there is no danger of it falling below zero.

Since the consumption rate will now be higher, organizations that use a server may wish to purchase more than the usual amount of months at a time. To facilitate this, the Site License wizard now allows an unlimited number of credits to be purchased at once.

Is there a threshold of server usage below which a user is not charged for a user-month?

I’ve been looking for the details of how all usage is calculated. I know I’ve seen it but now I can’t find it. For instance, a computer with Panorama launched, but not being actively used doesn’t count. How about a shared connection where the session is open but the client is inactive. It’s not uncommon to see workers go home at night and leave connected files open.

Or, when someone with their own license connects with a shared database on someone else’s server account…like me to a client’s server…I’m guessing that each account gets charged for one user.

Thank you, Tom and James, for asking these clarifying questions. I am just now beginning to use Panorama and Server in my small business. I had also hoped to put all my databases online so my staff of 7 could access them from anywhere. For a small enterprise, this may get to be expensive, and when Jim answers your questions (questions I don’t have enough experience to know to ask), I will be the beneficiary of your asking. So, thank you, both! Standing by. . .

I use a desktop computer most of the time, but also a laptop when I am working in a different room. Will I be charged for two user-months in this situation?

That much has been answered: Site license question

As you read these answers, please keep in mind that most other server software is charged by the seat, and you pay for each seat whether they are used or not. Panorama X Server only charges for seats that are actually used – and the per seat charge is less than any other multi-user solution I am aware of.

For the server, usage is counted differently than for the single user version of Panorama. Basically usage is counted by computer, not by user. So if two different computers connect to the server, they will both be counted even if they are never used at the same time.

Panorama X Server is for business use, not personal. I don’t know of any other multi-user software that doesn’t charge for each computer used, i.e. a “seat”. Perhaps the terminology used for reporting shared use should changed to “seats in use” rather than “shared users”. I’m going to give serious consideration to changing the Site License and the monthly statements to use the term seat instead of user (shared), it’s more descriptive of how it works.

There is no minimum threshold. The server keeps a list of all of the computers that have connected to it by opening a shared database (activity like using the Server Administration window does not count as usage). If a computer has opened any shared database on that server during the month, that computer is counted as a shared user.

That’s fine – usage is billed by the month, not the hour or the minute. There won’t be a higher charge because connected files are left open. If a “seat” has any usage during the month there will be a charge for that seat, the charge is the same whether it was used for 1 minute or 700 hours.

In this situation, the account the server is logged in as will be charged for 1 seat (i.e. 2 months). The charge for shared use is counted on the server, and the server does not care what account the client is using.

Your account will also be charged for 1 single user month. If you are doing ALL of your work for the company that owns the server then you should use their account for all of your work, which would save this charge. But presumably you are using your own account because you are also doing work on other projects, so you will be billed for single user use as normal.

Yes, that is two seats.

If you are comparing to single user software, of course it will be more expensive. But if you are comparing to other multi-user database systems I think Panorama is still a bargain.

Remember that Panorama 6 Server pricing ran up to several thousand dollars paid up front. Panorama X doesn’t have that up front cost (other than the training class) but we are running a business. The server software took thousands of hours to develop, ProVUE can’t give away that investment for a song, at least not if we hope to stay in business and keep supporting all of you for years to come.

So, if I log off of my Pan X copy then log back in with my client’s credentials, connect to their server, do some work, then log off again and log back in with my credentials, I could avoid the extra monthly charges for working on their systems, correct?

There are no extra monthly charges for you to work connected to someone else’s server. From a cost perspective, there is no reason to switch accounts like that.

with my credentials

If you do any work when logged in with your credentials, you’ll be charged the normal monthly fee. You won’t be charged more for spending some of that time working on a database that is connected to someone else’s server.

I have the server on a stand alone computer, which has PanX running PanX also and used from time to time. Will I be charged for a user for the server machine?

By standalone machine I guess you mean the user is on the same computer as the server? And no other users ever connect to it? That would be charged as one seat in any month were it was used.

If I understand this then… On my separately paid license, if I connect to a client’s server via my desktop computer, then at another time connect with my laptop, their account is charged for 4 months.

My question was not clear. I meant to refer to a dedicated server. Nobody uses the server machine itself except to maintain or manage the server software.
In that case, suppose someone uses PanX on the server to restart the server or update to a new release or troubleshoot a problem. Will the account be charged for two user-months for that activity?

Their account will be charged for 2 seats, which is the same as 4 “regular” months. So yes, you understand.

If you open a shared database on that computer then it will be counted as a seat (2 user months). If you don’t open a shared database, it won’t count as a seat, but it might count as a single user depending on how much you do and whether any other users were active at the same time.